|Posted by Olena Sammut on June 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM||comments (0)|
OK, this is something I believe in.I’ve tried it and I must say it worked for me, even though I haven’t beenstrict with it and haven’t followed ALL the food combining rules. But the little I followed made me feel less bloated, lighter and healthier.
What is food combining? Food combining is an idea that meal components must be selected carefully in order to bedigested properly. Eating a buffet meal and trying a little bit of everythingvery often gives us instant satisfaction followed by quick bloating, heartburns and sometimes even stomach pains. Why? Different foods require their own unique enzymes, too many different foods in one meal confuse the body and it is not able to produce all of the necessary enzymes simultaneously.
So what are the main principles? Easy...
- Eat Fruits Alone on an Empty Stomach
- Eat Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables (Leafy greens, broccoli,asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, celery, lettuce, greenbeans, garlic, fennel, onions, red radish, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, beets). Avoid combining proteins and starches(including grains, like rice, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes) in thesame meal. After a protein meal, give yourself 4 hours to fully digest. (You may even want to try all grain meals one day and all protein meals the next.)
- Eat Grains and Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy Vegetables. Wait 3 hours after eating a grain-based meal before you have a protein meal.
- Combine fats and oils with vegetables, grains and protein. Avoid large amounts of fat with protein (like the mayonnaise in tuna salad) because it slows digestion. Instead use a small amount of oil to cook and oil free dressings.
- Sugar combines with Nothing (if you must eat sugar, it should be eaten aloneas in a cup of tea with no other foods).
- Try not to drink cold water during meals. A cup of warm tea, however, will aid digestion. Avoid ice when you drink water. Stick to room temp water that doesn't shock your body and do not drink for at least 15 minutes before you eat or 1 hour after a meal.
- Try some of the food combining principles this week. Eat proteins with non-starchy veg for lunch and grains with salad for dinner. Eat fruit separate as a snack only. See if you feel lighter the next day. Check out the recipes that follow the food combining principles here: http://www.food-combining-diet.com/recipes/
|Posted by Olena Sammut on June 18, 2013 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Metabolism and ways to boost it.
Metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to produce the energy your body needs to maintain its vital functions. Boosting metabolism this up is the MAIN key to weight loss.
Men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting. And formost people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can't control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to get a boost.
And if you boost metabolism plus follow a calorie-controlled diet (approx1,500 calories to lose weight) and regular exercise it’ll work out much faster!
So, here are some tricks to boost your metabolism (starting from foods):
- To keep your metabolism at full speed, drink there commended 2 litres of water a day (about eight glasses). You can also add some lemon juice to it, especially as the first and last drink of the day!
- Green tea is also great in this sense. Try to substitute the black tea and coffee for green tea and you’ll feel so much fresher. Green tea has been proven to aid weight loss by speeding up the metabolism, inhibiting fat absorption and aiding glucose regulation.
- Great complex cabs for breakfast – oats. Eating a portion in the morning for breakfast is a great way to provide your body with slow-release, natural energy throughout the day. I just add some boiling water and some strawberries and peaches which are now in season. Oats can lower your cholesterol and help to maintain a healthy metabolic rate.
- Mid-morning and mid-day snack: when you eat largemeals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals.Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking,so you burn more calories over the course of a day. Keep the snack small (handfulof nuts or a fruit as an example)
- Don’tbe afraid to build muscle: Our bodies constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. Do a small 20 min workout(brisk walking, jogging or a simple abs exercises) in the morning and your muscles will be activated all over your body for a whole day, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.
- Interval training, like HIIT, Zumba Toning,Zumba in a Circuit, Circuit Training – these high intensity workouts will give you a bigger, longer increase in resting metabolic rate.
What are super foods?
Superfoods are foods which have little calories, but at the same time provide lots of nutrients and therefore good for one's health.
The nutrients could be an antioxidant, to prevent cancer; a healthy fats,to prevent heart disease; fiber, to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; etc
You can find a whole classification of super foods here: http/foodmatters.tv/content/superfoods, however, let me mention my top 10 list (there are oboviously much more super foods out there):
- Blueberries – rich in antioxidants, high in potassium and vitamin C, great antiflamatory. However, can be quite expensive in Malta. No worry, Kiwi’s benefits are similar, and its much more affordable. One of the few fruit my kid likes
- Beans - a source of low-fat protein. Beans have insoluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol; soluble fiber, which provides a longer feeling of fullness; and loads of vitamins and trace minerals.
- Quinoa is not a grain, but it cooks up like one, and this too is a remarkable source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Check out in Maltese stores!
- Nuts and seeds contain high levels of minerals and healthy fats. Be careful however, they are high in calories. Notmore than handful at a time as a healthy mid-day snack.
- Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C and K, as well as fiber, calcium and other minerals. Add to soups, stir-fries, boiled veg, etc.
- Sweet potato and squash both are excellent sources of fiber, vitamin A, etc. They are naturally sweet and don't require the butter, cream, or salt typically added to potatoes.
- Fatty fish, suchas Salmon is full of omega-3 fats, which is considered to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Some doctors say the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risk of harming your health from the mercury these fish contain
- Pomegranate, which is quite common in Malta as well. Rich in one particular nutrient; pomegranate has ellagitannins, which have anti-cancer properties.
- Grapefruit - Even if you changed nothing else about your diet, eating half a grapefruit beforeeach meal may help you lose up to a pound a week! A compound in the tangy fruitcan lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss.It's also a good source of protein, and because it's at least 90% water, it canfill you up so you eat less.
- And finally as a treat - dark chocolate. It is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is,the lower the fat and sugar content. Healthy!
Your Homework this week:
1) Choose some of the tricks of the above and use them to speed up your metabolism
2) Include 3-5 super foods in your diet
3) Register your food intake this week or/andfollow the weekly diet plan provided
4) Take measurements, leave feedback, describeweekly results
The secrets of digestion and absorption; Food combining...
|Posted by Olena Sammut on June 9, 2013 at 5:50 AM||comments (0)|
So now that we know all the main nutrients that our body needs, lets finally state what is a balanced healthy diet? It is a diet with awhole variety of nutrients from all the groups discussed above and IMPORTANT inright proportions and in moderation! Portion size is the KEY! We will get back to portion sizes later on in the course...
Pic1- How to organize your plate
You can get a smaller plateand still fill it up with variety of foods. But choose wisely. Nutrient-densefoods provide, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, and whole grains and beans, substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals andrelatively few calories. Low-nutrient dense foods have few vitamins but lots ofcalories, such as candy bars, soda, donuts and onion rings.
A high nutrient-dense lunch wouldlook something like this:
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- Turkey or chicken
- 1 slice roasted red pepper
- 1 tsp mayonnaise
- carrots with hummus
A low nutrient-dense lunch wouldlook something like this:
- One ground beef burger
- Two hamburger buns
- Iceberg lettuce
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 slice American cheese
- French fries
- Soft drink
- Sweets for desert
One of the most common visuals that help you plan yourbalanced diet is called Food Pyramid. There are multiple versions of the foodpyramids that exist: the common one, for vegetarians , for vegans, Healthy diet.
Pic2 - The most common version of Food Pyramid
Pic3 - The VEGAN of Food Pyramid (raw foods, fruit and veg is the basis, no animal proteins)
Pic4 - Healthy Diet version of the Food Pyramid, based on limiting carbs and gluten based carbs
Remember that if you want to loose extra weight, you shouldfind YOUR balance in eat in moderation. Do not orientate yourself on the higherbracket of the suggested intake, but on the lower one or on the median.
Depending on your target calorie intake and lifestyle (you’llneed more calories if you are active and less if you live sedentary life) the commonfood pyramid suggests for the target of 1600 kcals a day:
1st Food Type: Grains - 6 servings per day (At least half of your servings should be whole-grain.)
Examples of One Serving:
- 1 slice bread1 oz dry cereal (check nutrition label for cup measurements of different products)
- 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal (about the size of a baseball)
2nd Food Type: Vegetables - 3-4 servings per day (Eat a variety of colors and types)
Examples of One Serving:
- 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)
- 1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables
- 1/2 cup vegetable juice
3rd Food Type: Fruits - 4 servings per day (Eat a variety of colors and types)
Examples of One Serving:
- 1 medium fruit
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
4th Food Type: Fat-free or low-fat dairy Products - 2-3 servings per day
Examples of One Serving:
- 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
- 1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt
- 40-45gr oz fat-free or low-fat cheese
5th Food Type: Lean meet, chicken, fish/seafood - 85- 170 grams (cooked) per day
Examples of One Serving:
- 85 grams cooked meat (about the size of a computer mouse)
- 85 grams grilled fish (about the size of a checkbook)
6th Food Type: Fats and oils (Use liquid vegetable oils most often) - 2 servings per day
Examples of One Serving:
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp regular or 2 Tbsp low-fat salad dressing
7th Food Type: Nuts, seeds, and legumes - 3-4 servings per WEEK
Examples of One Serving:
- 1/3 cup or 45gr nuts
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp or 15gr seeds
- 1/2 cup dry beans or peas
8th Food Type: Sweets and added sugars 1-3 servings per WEEK
Examples of One Serving:
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp jelly or jam
- 1/2 cup sorbet and ices
- 1 cup lemonade
And dont forget about WATER, at least 2 liters a day!
As a lovely exercise, I would suggest that you track forone or two days all the foods you eat.Nowadays, it’s so easy with the online calorie trackers. You just type in thefood and portion size you’ve taken, and all the calculations are done for you.By the end of the day you get a report and a percentage breakdown per each mainnutrient group. You’ll know if you are eating too many carbs and not so much offiber as you should for example.
Pic5 - Enter your food and monitor your daily intake, all calculations are done for you
The recommendation is to have a good ratio of calories,
- 40-50% Carbs (preferably complex carbs,avoid simple ones like sugar, sweets and sweet or soft drinks)
- 25-35% protein (preferably lean meat or chicken),
- 20-30% fat (preferably non-saturated).
The calorie tracker I use is this one http://www.fitday.com/about, but you are always free to explore online and find the one that suits you most. Very simple registration and then just type in the name of the food you've eaten.
1) For 2-3 days during the following week monitor and record what you eat using an online calorie counter, find where is imbalance in your diet, which minerals and vitamins are missing/lacking in your diet
2) Follow the nutrition plan for a week which I'll publish on this website and calculate the calorie intake for this plan. Calculate an average calorie intake per day. If you want to reduce the intake, dont forget to include and trace physical activity into your daily routine!!
|Posted by Olena Sammut on June 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
How is it going with the homework? Are the goals set? Did you get enough motivation? Any inspiration boards ready? I'd love to see them!!
If you are still not motivated enough, let me scare you a bit.... Find the golden middle via balanced nutrition, or otherwise you might end up in trouble...
HAZARDS OF BEING OVERWEIGHT AND UNDERWEIGHT
There are quite a number of consequences and health risks when it comes to being overweight. Some of them include:
Hypertension or High Blood Pressure - Having a large body size may increase blood pressure because your heart needs to pump harder to supply blood to all your cells. Excess fat may also damage your kidneys, which help regulate blood pressure.
- Extra weight makes your heart work harder to send blood to all the cells in your body. As a result of high pressure and high cholesterol level you might get various symptoms that lead to various heart problems, such as heart attack, stroke, abnormal heart rhythm
- Excess weight places extra pressure on joints and cartilage, causing them to wear away. In addition, people with more body fat may have higher blood levels of substances that cause inflammation. Inflamed joints may raise the risk for osteoarthritis.
- Overweight and obesity raise the risk of health problems during pregnancy for both mother and baby that may occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women who are overweight or obese may have an increased risk for
- developing gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy)
- having preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy that can cause severe problems for both mother and baby if left untreated)
- needing a C-section and, as a result, taking longer to recover after giving birth
Being underweight however, also contains its own risks, so do not overdo it when it comes to diets. It’s always best to find that golden middle
For women being underweight or losing too much weight all over sudden can result in:
1. Fertility problems: loosing too much weight can make a woman stop menstruating, a condition known as amenorrhea. Reduced fertility is a common complication of amenorrhea. Also scientific research proves that women with low BMI are having much higher probability of heaving a miscarriage during their 1sttrimester.
2. Low body weight often affects energy levels, i.e. people who regularly eat too little are likely to experience fatigue.
3. Brittle Bones: Researchers found that thinner women have bones that are less dense. A study of 3,383 showed that as skinny women age, they are more likely to suffer from broken hips as a result of osteoporosis.
NUTRITION EQUALS LIFE
Nutrition is the science of how your body uses food. All living creatures need food and water to survive and to live WELL, they need good food.
So, the first thing to do is to discuss when foods and drinks and in what quantities provide the energy and building materials to build and support every organ of your body healthy. Lets shortly discuss NUTRIENTS – chemical substances your body uses to build, maintain and repair tissues.
There are 2 main groups
1. Macronutrients: protein, fat, carbohydrates, water – normally we need large amount of these consumed on daily basis
2. Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals – the recommended daily intake is much smaller (usually measured in micrograms)
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
When you step on the scale ON AVERAGE:
- 60% of your weight is water
- 20% of your wait is fat
- 20% of your weight is a combination of protein (mostly your muscles) and carbs, minerals and vitamins.
So that’s why you’ve heard so many times “You are what you eat”
MAIN NUTRIENTS, THEIR ROLE.
Lets start from Proteins. Proteins are used to build new cells, maintain tissues and synthesize new proteins that help you to perform body functions. Your hair, your nails are made of protein keratin, your muscles contain myoglobin and number of other proteins, your bone marrow contain proteins and even blood cells contain hemoglobin – a protein that cariies oxygen throughout the body.
- Animal proteins are considered to be high quality proteins by nutritionists, since they are absorbed more efficiently and used without much waste.
- Plant proteins, such as beans, nuts, seeds, veg, etc have limited amounts of amino acids and have less nutritional content compared to animal proteins. By the way, soybeans unlike other non-animal proteins, have complete proteins with sufficient amounts of amino acids for human health!
Next are fats – high energy nutrients which give us twice as much energy as protein and carbs. The trick is separating good from bad! A healthy body needs fat for making tissue and even producing hormones. Fats provide a source of stored energy, cushions your skin, and internal organs when you have fallen or are injured, used as an insulation in winter. Avoid or reduce saturated fats for a healthier diet.
Carbs are sugar composed of units of sugar. Your body runs on glucose, the molecules your cells burn for energy. They also protect muscles. If your body needs energy, your body looks for glucose from carbs first. If none is available (for example you are following low carb diet), your body pulls the glucose stored in fatty tissues and only then it burns the muscle tissues.
Carbs come in 3 types:
- Simple carbs, such as table sugar. Something that some people consider to be “poison” and should be restricted from a healthy diet…
- Complex carbs, such as potatos, beans, beets, rice and pasta
- Dietary fiber, such as in whole grains (oats, barley), fruit(apples, bananas, citrus fruit) and plants(seaweed, cabbage, beans) helps digestion and maintains healthy intestines. It is nor a source of energy for humans, it adds no calories to your diet and that’s what makes it valuable for any diet.
Vitamins are organic chemicals that occur naturally in all living things, plants and animals. They regulate a number of body functions and very important for building body tissues. Also help digesting proteins, fats and carbs, help preventing a number of diseases and promote healing.
Your body needs AT LEAST 11 vitamins: A, D, E, K (fat soluble) C and a number of vitamins from group B (water soluble). If you eat larger amounts of fat soluble vitamins than your body needs, the excess will be stored in body fat. When it comes to water soluble vitamins, excess will be eliminated in urine.
As much as vitamin deficiencies should be avoided by eating a wide variety of foods or taking multivitamin complexes, vitamin overdoses should be avoided as well, because they are potentially toxic, can damage tissues, cause kidney stones and cause weird symptoms! Be careful, especially when taking supplements or giving them to kids!
And finally a bit about essential minerals. Unlike the vitamins, the minerals occur naturally, but in NON-living things, such as rocks and metal ores. Also present in plants through soil and animals since they are eating plants. Minerals help you to strengthen the body.
Warning: some minerals interact with others or with medical drugs! For example: calcium binds the antibiotic tetracycline into a compound your body cant break apart, so it actually goes through your body unabsorbed and unused. That’s why the doctors advise against taking antibiotics with dairy!
Some of the major minerals include: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, potassium and chloride.
There are also a number of trace minerals. The amounts of these in your body are much less and so are the amounts you need to take in to maintain a steady supply. These include: iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, etc.
Why do we need minerals? A picture is worth thousands of words...
For a complete guide on vitamins and minerals and dosage, follow the link: http://greatist.com/health/ultimate-guide-vitamins-and-minerals
Coming up next....
- WHAT IS A BALANCED DIET?
- FOOD PYRAMID and
- NUTRITION PLAN FOR A WEEK
|Posted by Olena Sammut on May 27, 2013 at 5:05 AM||comments (0)|
Welcome to the FREE ONLINE course "Healthy Nutrition"!
It’s been an idea that was in my mind for a long time – to makea nutrition course. I’m not going to pretend to know it all. I’d just like to summarize and visualize what I already know or have heard, set up the goals and stick to them. It will help me and hopefully others as well.
It is always better to team up with a friend or even a wholegroup that has similar goals to your own and support each other. That’s why I’msharing this course with you, hoping to discuss the progress, swap healthyrecipes, or just be there to talk each other out of a binge.
Define Your Personal Goals
I’d like to start from setting your own personal goals. What would YOU like to achieve during or after this course?
Would you like to lose extra weight, gain some extra weightor perhaps you are quite happy with your current weight and all you need is toeat cleaner and feel more energetic, less bloated, etc, etc.
Calculate your BMI and Body Fat Percentage
First of all, take an easy test to find out where you are atthe moment: calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). Body mass index is defined asthe individual's body mass divided by the square of their height.
You can calculate the index yourself, use the chart below tofind your approximate value or use one of the online calculators to do it foryou by just entering your weight and height.
Some experts do criticise the BMI index since as such an obese person and a personwith excess muscle may receive close BMI index value, since only mass andheight are taken into consideration.
Apart from that, it makes no allowance for the relative proportions of bone, muscleand fat in the body. Therefore, many personal trainers and nutritionists wouldalso recommend to measure body fat percentage.
Itis a little bit trickier to measure the body fat percentage, since you’ll needeither Body fat calipers to measure the thickness of the skin folds in variousparts of your body or Body Fat Monitor. You can read more about other methods thatexist (http://extremebodyfit.com/fat-loss/how-to-calculate-your-body-fat-percentage ;;) however they are not really suitablefor home use.
List down your SMART goals
Now that you know where you stand: your current weight, bodymeasurements, BMI and Body Fat Percentage, it is time to set your own SMART goals: specific, measurable,attainable, relevant and time based.
- After these 5 weeks I WILL lose 5%-7% of my current body weight in order to feel lighter,healthier and more energetic
- During these 5 weeks I WILL update my online food diary every day and analyse on weeklybases how balanced my diet was that week on average
- For these 5 weeks I WILL clean all my cupboardsof unhealthy and junk foods and WILL plan my meals for a whole week making wisedecisions and avoiding spontaneous food shopping
There, you’ve listed them down. Print them out and keep them in a visible place where you see them every day and maybe several times a day.
It would be lovely to create a visualization board as well,which will motivate you on daily bases.
- If you are into crafts, use magazines,scissors, quotes, etc and create your own,
- If you are quite friendly with PC and online tools, try out Free online tool for Inpiration board creation: http://theinspirationboard.com/users/login
- If none of these suit you, you might easily find lots of inspiration/motivation boards and collages online, just google "Fitness Inpiration board" or "Nutrition Inspiration Board"…
Do you need a little bit more motivation when it comes tothe goals you’ve set? Stay tuned for the part 2 of this week material's and you'll find out about:
- Risks and dangers of being overweight as well as underweight
- What your balanced diet should consist of
- What are the main nutrients, why does our body require them and in which proportions
- What is a food pyramid and how to apply it on daily basis
- How to use the online calorie counters to keep track of what you are eating
- Sample nutrition plan for the 1st week of June including the shopping list.
Meanwhile, your homework 1 for this week is:
- Write down 3-5 personal SMART goals for this course
- Create an inspiration board to keep you motivated throughout the course
- Take a pic or list the goals in the comments on FB closed group Zumba, Fitness and Nurtition with Olena Sammut/
Hope you've found some useful material here, any feedback is greatly appreciated!
|Posted by Olena Sammut on June 3, 2012 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
Every year in the middle of May there is an amazing convention taking place in Rimini, Italy for the fitness junkies called RiminiWellness. It lasts 4 days and is VERY affordable - only 18 euro for the 4 day entrance. Tickets are available online.
When I first time went there last year, it blew my mind. I have never seen so many fit people in one place, so much new equipment, new fitness routines, products, clothes, and AMAZING energy, all in one place. Last year i went with my husband, quite a competitive sportsman, i must say and a friend - collegue Joanna, with whom we took our first Aerobics Instructor course. Its always FUN with friends - to laugh, show off, buy clothes together, take pics of each other and workout side by side
The place itself is lovely - Italian Riviera. Great food, shops and restaurants everywhere, lovely old city center and green parks. So we started off with a byke ride around the city, then went to RiminiWellness and finished off by a tour around the town + great meal. It was amazingly warm as well, warmer than in Malta for that time of the year
This year the trip was different - we got the kid with us. So from the start I knew that we will give more attention to our son and travel around more and I'll go for the convention only for a few hours - Zumba.
The plane trip was OK, Andre seems to be getting used to flying, no complaints, watching DVD player, playing Android games, etc. We rented a car and travelled from Bologna to Rimini. Somehow I thought its much shorter. But there was lots of traffic on the highway and queue to TelePass, so it took us almost 1.5 hours to arrive. Train is more fun I must say... We found our lovely small hotel. It had parking and kids playground on the territory - YES! Most of the restaurants are good in Rimini, even if they dont look 1st class, but by just passing my and looking what others have on their plate and smelling it you can make the right choice :)))
The weather was still amazing on Saturday, so Jon took Andre to the beach and I went to RiminiWellness. Zumba was even BIGGER this year. If you check our the map of the whole convention, it was probably one of the biggest, if not THE biggest stand and area. However, the shop was still so small and TOO many queues, so no shopping this time for me, will order my Zumbawear online... Jani Roberts was just amazing - very cool woman, old, but sexy and sooooo energetic. Pity I didnt have time for Sentao, but its something worth considering...
1 hour of Zumba with Beto, pics, other Maltest instructors, watched some Aqua aerobics - something I'd like to teach one day, some videos, some ideas for music and choreo, some positive energy and run to the husband and kid
Rimini itself is lovely, but if you have a car, travel a bit around: Verruchio, San Leo and San Marino in the rain - that's what we managed to visit on Saturday and Sunday.
If you love some shopping - welcome to La Befagne. Hours and hours of shopping garanteed
More of this years pics in a video: http://feelfit.webs.com/apps/videos/videos/show/16575961-rimini-2012
|Posted by Olena Sammut on April 6, 2012 at 5:10 PM||comments (0)|
As my regular students know I have missed a couple of classes at the end of February 2012 due to the fact that I went to the First Zumba Instructors Conference in London! yupii! When you watch the videos from Zumba Conventions in USA, you just go crazy, its so energyzing and mind blowing... So there was no time for hesitation. Event was booked and flights were paid...
Congratulations! You’re gonna be at the world’s first Zumba® Instructor Conference in London! Who knows who you’ll meet and what will happen? Get out that calendar right now and circle Feb. 24-26, 2012 with a bright red marker and be sure to check out the Conference website for important details and updated information. Pack whatever you want, but whatever you do, don’t forget your camera!
CONFIRMATION OF YOUR REGISTRATION
We have received your payment of €470.00
Please make a record of your itinerary:
Friday, February 24Zumbatomic® Instructor Training (Gina Grant) - 09:00 - 17:30Zumbathon® Fitness-Concert™ - 19:30 - 21:30
Saturday, February 25Keynote speech by Marci Shimoff: "How to Join the Party of Life" - 09:30 - 11:30ZIN Jam Session (Anna Marchenko - Canada) - 12:30 - 14:30Reggaetton Rebellion (Loretta Bates and Marcie Gill) - 16:00 - 18:00Live Music Concert / Themed Party - 21:00 - 00:00
Sunday, February 26Zumba® Brazilian Carnival (Priscila Sartori) - 10:00 - 12:00ZIN Jam Session (Eduardo Fajardo - US) - 14:30 - 16:30
So, London here we come!
It was my first time in London, first time I ever stayed at the hostel and first time I attended Zumba Conference. Upon arrival and after checkin in the hotel, we went to Westfield shopping center. Thanks God it was open till 10 pm, so we did some shopping, had a meal and a nice chat with Graziella (my fellow Zumba instructor)
The Friday - first day flew by... Took a Zumbatomic course with Gina Grant.
I know how many moms want to bring their kids with them to Zumba classes, so I was carrying an idea of introducing Zumba for moms and kids for quite a while now...
There are lots of tips and useful info given with regards to teaching fitness and Zumba in particular to kids. What's different?
- Their attention span is shoter, so we'll shorten this class to 45 mins.
- You have to concentrate much more on HAVING FUN, rather than working out or loosing weight Games, challenges + dancing of course.
- Motor skills of the little kids is not as good as those of the older ones or adults, so the moves will be simpler. We'll break down each new dance and learn it gradually
- Children have higher heart rates than adulta and they tend to breath faster than adults. Therefore they need to take in more air and we need to avoid overheating...
- Choice of music and moves should be different, as no "sexy" or "dirty" lyrics to be used in class
So this poses quite a challenge and needs some time for proper preparation, but its time to put ths theory into practice as well. Some time in April 2012.
After the course, we were looking forward to the Fitness Concert and MAN! It was just amazing! Lots of explosive energy, beautiful people, everyone dancing in sync, lights, stage, gorgeous ZINs on stage! Unbelievable!
Tired but happy we returned to the hostel by midnight...
On the second day I've decided to give a miss to the key speech and pay a short visit to London, as I have never been there before. So we took a subway to Victoria station and took a walk to Buckingham Palace. From there over the river and we took a ride on the London eye! Ah what a view.
Lovely beginning of the day, the sun was shining, it was very warm, but it was time to rush back to the Excel Fair Center for JAM session and the Reggaetton Masterclass afterwards...
I absolutely loved the JAM session! ZIN™ Jam Sessions are open exclusively to current ZIN™ members. The 3-hour action-packed hot ZIN™ Jam Sessions are providing instant new, fun filled choreography, music ideas, ZJ tips, friendship and much more. The ZIN™ Jam Sessions include a break down of new ( 3-4 /session) choreography for to take back to your classes an implement immediately.
Ok, it was a bit tiring to repeat same choreo over and over again and especially on the carpet, but hey, I'm using some of those choreos in my class, so it was worth it! Thanks to Anna Marchenko...
As much as I love Reggaetton, but I was already DEAD tired by the middle of it and i still needed some energy fot the carnival party that night, so I ended up just watching, taking pics and enjoying it...
I've forgotten when I danced this much last time. But the party was just super cool. I felt like I'm in my early 20's again, jusmping and singing and shaking. It was COOL. No more words, just pics....
Sunday... Ok 3 days are waaaaaay too much. After dancing like crazy for 2 days in a row, every single muscle and every single joint in my body was sore. So i was missing home already. Nevertheless, still managed to learn some cool new moves and styles during Zumba® Brazilian Carnival with Priscila Sartori and REALLY enjoyed once again the JAM session. It's so much fun, when the instructor is amazing...
All these 3 days, I was shopping like crazy. It's impossible to pass by the Zumba shop and not to buy anything, especially considering the offers they had: tops at GBP5 each, trousers and hoodies at 10 and 15. More packing for me but also more colors in my wardrobe
In the evening we went out so walk a little bit more in Convent garden and downtown, had a meal at a restaurant in South Kensington by the hotel and packed to go back home early morning on Monday...
After coming back to Malta, had a relazing Reiki session and a new manicure done at Inglott. NOW the holiday is over and i got relaxed and settled again. Tue was back to work and back to Zumba!
This is for memory sake more than anything else. Loved this trip! Would do it again!
|Posted by Olena Sammut on March 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM||comments (1)|
Zumba is a Latin dance-inspired fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez in Colombia during the 1990s.
There are many flavours in Zumba. And have tried just some of them: Reggaeton, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia, Latin Pop, Bollywood, Belly Dance, Rumba, Samba. And there are so many more...,
To tell you the truth, I have a tendency to prefer certain styles over the others. I just LOVE reggaeton and belly dance for instance, and you'll get one or even more reggaeton choreos in each class.
"While it takes influences from hip hop and Jamaican dancehall, reggaeton is not just the Hispanic or Latino version of either of these genres; reggaeton has its own specific beat and rhythm, whereas Latin hip hop is simply hip hop recorded by artists of Latino descent. " (Wikipedia)
Here are some of reggaeton tracks: http://soundcloud.com/search?q[fulltext]=regaetton
Belly Dance is the second favourite for me. Of course its a much simler version of real belly dancing and its only limited to few moves in Zumba. Most of our Shakira songs do incorporate Belly Dance moves
But there is much more to explore: http://www.shira.net/howtomove.htm
Third favourite is Cumbia. "Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African slave population, which was later mixed with European instruments and musical characteristics. Cumbia is very popular in the Andean region and the Southern Cone, and it's still more popular than the salsa in many parts of these regions" (Wikipedia)
Yes you hear me often shouting "Cumbia!" There are several basic moves however:Forward, back step, Sleepy Leg, Sugarcane, cross step, etc. The video explains just one of the moves, however check out more hints inher ot her videos
Read more about Zumba styles here: http://www.strictlyzumba.org/zumba-dances.htm.
The variety of styles in Zumba is great! And that's what makes it fun. There is always a possibility to change, learn new moves, mix and match, get to listen new musicians and have a blast!
Hope you like my intro. I'll keep you posted
|Posted by Olena Sammut on March 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Ok, I know even from my 7 years of teaching background (at MCAST and Uni), that I can never possibly satisfy every single student. There will be ones that respect your, others that think you're great and also some that think otherwise.
In fitness classes its easier, if you don't like the instructor, you try another class or even another instructor. Simple, ey? I know also that Zumba is not everyone's piece of cake. Having taken and having taught Aerobics classes since 1997, I was SO sceptical about Zumba and also quite disappointed after the first class I took. I didn't get tired, i didn't sweat at ALL and I said to myself "What is this fuss all about?" )))
But yet, its all about TEACHING, and it all depends so much on the TEACHER - instructor in this case. I was lucky to eventually get into the class with huge crowd of enthusiastic Zumba addict people and just an AWESOME super cool, sexy and edgy instructor. And I loved it. From that day onwards, I always go back to that "First spark" for an inspiration and ideas...
When I ask you for your suggestions and complaints before and after sessions, I mean it Really. I would rather hear some things in my face than behind my back. And I'll do my best to adjust and improve.
"Her class is too dancy", "Its too much", "Tracks are too short", "We need more intensity". 8-} Could it be that same feeling after my first Zumba class or am I doing something wrong? You need to learn the basics but also give it ALL, all your energy: big moves: steps, arms amplitude, etc. I cant MAKE you do it, I can just try to have fun myself, hoping that it will be contagious...
For those who LIKE to work out, I always invite you to 30 mins sessions before Zumba: tone up - use weights, resistance bands, gymballs, get definition, see the muscles getting defined, push yourself more. I'm there for you every time.
Here are MY questions coming: How do you find the Zumba classes? Too dancy? FUN? Challenging? What's good and what still needs improvement. Your feedback would really be appreciated xxx Looking froward to hearing from you
|Posted by Olena Sammut on January 4, 2012 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
Haha, it's been a long journey...
I've started teaching aerobics at the age of 17 years old as a volonteer. First for free, then for pocket money. I tought my university mates for 4 years instead of taking boring PE lessons which were obligatory...
After 4 years of University in Ukraine I moved to Finland to continue my studies and my "career" as an aerobics instructor stopped. I continued training for myself, but kept on having dreams about actually teaching it again. I've had these dreams for 10 years
Since I moved to Malta in 2003 I considered doing the certification course to become a certified fitness instructor, but as it turned out at that time it was very difficult, as you had to do it full time and only if you are lucky and someone organizes the course with a foreigh teacher
In 2008 i had a baby boy and in a couple of months saw an ad in the newspaper that someone is organizing the course for aerobics instructors. Yey! And after my son grew up just a bit more I went and did the course And im so happy i did
In 2011 I also went to Bologna to take a course for Zumba Instructors and never looked back. As sceptic as I was about Zumba in the beginning, right now I am so excited and happy doing it. It gives me so much energy, good mood and lots of appreciation from my students. It's just a PURE FUN!
Of course i still love aerobics. That's why it remained there as an important and essential part of my workout sessions on Tue, Thur and Saturday at Gymstars. After dancing around for an hour and working out for another mins, after a proper complete stretch and relaxation you feel alive, reborn and energized
This winter I'm ready for a new challenge. I want to become as disciplined and regular with my nutritional habbits as with my fitness habbits. Let the game begin!